Bustamante’s sexist remarks demand removal from state commission

Carlos Bustamante and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

While Matt “Jubal” Cunningham, the editor of the Republican Red County blog has made light of the sexist remarks uttered by Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante after Sandra Hutchens was selected by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to be our next Orange County Sheriff, I have pointed out that the remarks appear to be a violation of the state regulation based on Assembly Bill 1825.

Bustamante also lied about making the remarks, which is an apparent violation of the new City of Santa Ana Code of Ethics for elected and appointed officials, which demands that these officials be honest.

But Bustamante’s sexist remarks also offer a justifiable reason to have him removed from the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC). Bustamante was appointed to that commission by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who himself has been guilty on more than one occasion of making sexist remarks. (Click here to read what I originally wrote about Bustamante’s appointment to the FEHC).

Consider what this commission does. According to the FEHC’s website: The Fair Employment and Housing Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative agency which enforces California civil rights laws regarding discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; pregnancy disability leave; family and medical leave; and hate violence.”

Consider what L.A. Times columnist Dana Parsons had to say about not only Bustamante’s remarks but also Cunningham’s reaction, “We’re not saying that the lady isn’t qualified. They’re just saying she got the job over Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters because she’s a woman.” Parsons continued, “Melding the two strands of thought would produce this union: We think you’re well qualified for the job, but if you weren’t a woman you wouldn’t have been appointed.”

Cunningham was an enthusiastic backer of Bustamante when the latter ran for the First Supervisorial District last year – ironically Bustamante was utterly beaten by a woman, Supervisor Janet Nguyen. And now she has selected a woman to be our Sheriff, over yet another man backed by Cunningham. Talk about karma.

And Parsons cited yet another sexist comment by Cunningham, “I think gender was ultimately the deciding factor — the tipping point — in Hutchens’ selection, and that anyone denying it played a role in her appointment is blind, dishonest or deceiving themselves.”

Obviously Cunningham has issues with women. But let’s get back to Bustamante. In case you have forgotten exactly what he said about the selection of Hutchens, here are the comments Bustamante made to Walters after Hutchens was selected, “Maybe we should get you some implants. Or a water bra.”

Bustamante clearly believes that Hutchens got the job because she is a woman. His fan boy Cunningham appears to share this belief. Parsons correctly nailed them both for the “inherent unfairness in impugning the Hutchens appointment.”

Cunningham will not suffer any repercussions because of his views about the selection of Hutchens. Bustamante on the other hand should be removed from the FEHC. That is beyond a doubt. How can we take him seriously as an FEHC commissioner, charged with enforcing “California civil rights laws regarding discrimination in employment?”

I also think that Bustamante should be disciplined by his employer, the County of Orange. It is absolutely inexcusable for a high level County administrative manager to make such remarks. I guarantee you that he has gone through AB 1825 training. If anyone ought to know better it is him. And clearly the City of Santa Ana also needs to discipline him because he breached their Code of Ethics by lying about making his sexist remarks.

Here’s what you can do to ensure that Bustamante gets tossed off the state Fair Employment and Housing Commission. First, call (800) 884-1684, which is the FEHC’s phone number for “employment, public accommodations and hate violence complaints.” Then be sure to email the Governor and ask him to remove Bustamante from the FEHC. I just did exactly that.

My fellow blogger here at the Orange Juice, Sarah Spinosa, doesn’t think that Bustamante’s remarks are a call to action, because Hutchens can take care of herself. That may be the case, but these remarks very clearly demand his removal from the FEHC. That is overwhelmingly obvious. Whether or not he likewise pays the price for violating the state regulation based on AB 1825 and the City of Santa Ana’s Code of Ethics remains to be determined. But his continued presence on the FEHC is an affront to the people of California.

Also, there are four women on the FEHC (click here to see who is on the FEHC). All are extremely accomplished in their own rights. They include two lawyers, a chief administrative law judge and the Safe Drinking Water Office Chief at the California Department of Water Resources. I wonder how they feel about working with Bustamante now?

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.